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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7d40002Coverage of the issues, races and people shaping Kansas elections in 2016, including statewide coverage in partnership with KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, and High Plains Public Radio.

Kansas Democratic Party Assembling Long-Range Planning Committee

Kansas Democrats

The Kansas Democratic Party is analyzing the results of the general election to see what needs to change going forward.

Kansas Democrats say even though their candidates lost some races, there is still a lot to be proud of this recent election cycle.

State party Chair Lee Kinch says all of the Democratic incumbents in the state Legislature were re-elected. The party also gained one seat in the state Senate and 13 seats in the state House.

Kinch says voting results show Democrats lost support among union families this year, and he wants to know why.

"Generally speaking, we have the support of the leadership, but too many union families feel that we are not addressing their needs," Kinch says. "We need to rectify that problem. So that’s a major, major problem for Democrats all over this country. We have always represented [union families’] interests, and they are now voting Republican in larger percentages than we have seen in the past. So that is one area we need to address."

Kinch says the state organization is putting together a long-range planning committee and will work to update the party’s message.

"It’s a question of getting the message out and perhaps amending our message to make it more meaningful, more understandable," Kinch says. "That’s been a chronic problem for our party, in educating the electorate. We cannot maintain a democracy unless we have an informed electorate."

He expects some of the Democratic candidates who ran this year to be on the ballot again in the coming years.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.


Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.